bal harbour blog

Jeff Koons Comes to Bal Harbour

Culture Watch
Jeff Koons's "Pluto and Proserpina," at the entrance of Bal Harbour Shops.

By Nick Madigan

Given how much Jeff Koons’ whimsical sculptures have been fetching at auction lately, you might not expect to see one of them exhibited at a shopping mall. But, there, at the entrance to Bal Harbour Shops is “Pluto and Proserpina,” an 11-foot-tall, lime-colored, mirror-polished, stainless-steel homage to a Greek myth.

Installed earlier this month in the porte-cochère, it was unveiled as part of the Shops’ half-century anniversary. The sculpture, which was shown in New York, Paris, Bilbao and Florence before being shipped to Miami, will remain at the Shops in all its startling splendor until April, on temporary loan from the Argentinian developer Eduardo Costantini, an assiduous art collector.

Costantini’s intent is to make “Pluto and Proserpina” the artistic centerpiece of his 28-story Oceana Bal Harbour condominium tower, under construction a short walk away on Collins Avenue. It will keep company with another Koons piece, “Ballerina,” which is still being created at the artist’s workshop in Germany. Both sculptures are part of his “Antiquity” series, in which Koons — who famously delved into far baser concepts in his youth —revisits classical themes and adapts them to suit his idiosyncratic, fluorescent vision.

Once Oceana is finished, “Pluto and Proserpina” will greet residents of the tower from a reflecting pool in the center of a 57-foot-tall breezeway that is to bisect the building. In a sense, the sculpture will still be public art, since it will be visible from the street.

“It will transform the space, and add magic,” Costantini said by phone from his office at the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, which he founded.

After the sculpture leaves the Bal Harbour Shops, the breezeway at Oceana will be its permanent home, Costantini said, “as if it were part of the furniture.”

 

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